Day 15

July 23, 2013

The one with the illegal party.

Two weeks have passed already; 14 days of interesting people, sunshine and cool camping spots. The ocean is our shower and it might really be time to wash our clothes by now. I luckily lost my sense of smell three years ago in a longboarding accident. Even though I often miss the smell of fresh bread, coffee and the mountains, when I’m backpacking this anosmia, as they call it, is truly a gift.

During the hitchhiking hours we are spending on the road in this almost unbearable heat, especially for Lewis, I often wish we had a van. And not just a van but a van that drives on waste cooking oil. I heard about this from friends in Odeceixe, Portugal who have an amazing old Mercedes that has this option. It inspired me to do some more research and I stumbled upon this blog of The Biotruck Expedition.

Around the World on Rubbish

Is it possible to drive around the world using rubbish? Apparently it is.

I bought this old school bus from a scrap yard and with the help of friends, got it running, refurbished the inside into an eco-home using reclaimed materials, and converted the engine to run on used cooking oil, to see if we could drive around the world using things that others have thrown away.

In September 2009 I set off from London, England, heading east and about two years later I made it back to the UK. All our fuel had been made from sources of other peoples’ waste.

 

It’s not only better for the environment but also cheaper. Maybe this makes it possible for us to get a van with our nine-euros-a-day budget. I’m curious though how hard it is to change a van yourself as I don’t think there is a big chance of finding a van that already runs on cooking oil. If you have any more information about this, please let me know. I’ll keep doing the research and hopefully I can one day proudly present our own eco-van!

Back to the ‘hitchhiking vs own van’ contemplation. Even though hitchhiking is hard sometimes and you might see it as a waste of time, it also gives you the golden opportunity to discover new places and meet amazing people. Today we experienced this again. After getting some free beers at a bar from a Spanish guy we met last night, we join the same van that took us from Cadiz to Palmar, all the way to their next destination: Bolonia. Here we joined them at an ‘illegal’ party in the forest. Somewhere (I wont’t put on the internet) in the fields in the middle of nowhere there was a stage with amazing musicians jamming all night. It was a very laid-back set up with christmas lights in the trees, lounge places, a bar, big tent, etc. So while I enjoyed some reggae I also thanked hitchhiking, for taking me to places like this.